Laborers' Local #32

About Local 32


Local 32 History

In 1946, 32 members of Laborers’ Local 32 started construction of the Fordham Dam on the Rock River in Northern Illinois, a job that was completed in 1949.

LiUNA History

LiUNA has been protecting the collective bargaining rights, providing opportunities for professional growth, advocating for policies and benefits and acting as a resource for laborers for more than 100 years.  Below are some of the key milestones in LiUNA’s history.

In 1903, Samuel Gompers, President of the American Federation of Labor (AFL), sent out a convention call to independent local Laborers’ Unions, urging them to join together and establish an international union of construction laborers. On April 13, the International Hod Carriers and Building Laborers’ Union (IHC and BLC) was founded.

In 1912, the young union went through two name changes becoming the International Hod Carriers and Common Laborers of America and then the International Hod Carriers' Building and Common Laborers of America. A hod is a tray or trough that has a pole handle and that is used to shoulder loads of materials such as mortar or brick on a construction site.

By 1920, the union had 548 Local Unions with a membership of 96,143.

In 1941, the Union held its first Convention since 1911, and in thirty years the Union had reported its membership had risen from 8,955 to 281,325.The war dramatically increased the rate of construction in America, and by 1942, membership in the Union had nearly doubled what it had been at the 1941 Convention. By the end of 1942, membership had risen to 430,000 members.

In 1962, LiUNA helped found the AFL-CIO Building and Construction Trades Department Safety Committee, and launched an effort to stop construction site cave-ins through intensive membership education and pushing protective legislation.

In the late 80’s and early 90’s many LiUNA regions implemented training programs to further improve skills and safety of members.

In 1994, the U.S. Department of Labor recognized the Construction Craft Laborer as an apprenticeable trade, opening the door for apprenticeship programs to begin throughout the union.

At LiUNA’s 2006 Convention, LIUNA made a historic commitment to help more workers join the union with the passage of resolutions that would raise more than $100 million a year for organizing – more than any construction union and more than virtually any union in North America.

At the 2011 LiUNA Convention, LiUNA followed up on the historic commitment to organizing by passing resolutions to invest in political and member activism through the LiUNA PAC and resolutions to enhance member communications and engagement.

To learn more about LiUNA, please click here


Our organization supports candidates that are passionate about the success, safety and welfare of laborers. Because we care about our members and their families, we sometimes endorse specific candidates. Below is a list of recent endorsements.

United States Senator Dick Durbin
Congresswoman Cheri Bustos
Illinois State Senator Steve Stadelman
Illinois State Senator Michael Frerichs
Winnebago County State’s Attorney Joseph Bruscato
Winnebago County Sheriff Gary Caruana
Winnebago County Circuit Clerk Thomas Klein

View a list of your elected representatives by clicking here and selecting Elected/Appointed Officials on the left hand side of the page.

How to Organize

Unions provide an invaluable service to their members including providing advanced training, advocating for increased wages, raising the standard of living for the working class, ensuring safe working conditions, and increasing benefits for both workers and their families.

Working people need the collective voice and bargaining power unions provide which includes job security, workplace safety and fair wages for quality work.  Labor unions will continue to play an important role in developing and protecting our work force and the quality of life for working families. If you are not a union member, you can learn about the benefits of union membership by calling your local Labor union.

If you are interested in learning more about how organizing in your workplace could benefit you, your co-workers and your families, please contact the Local 32 office at 815-873-8875. 

In The Community

Laborers’ Local 32 has helped build this community with a hand in every major infrastructure project.

If you have driven on area roads and highways, crossed a local bridge, shopped at a local retailer or visited a local health system, you have benefited from the work of Laborers Local 32.

Not only do we care about the quality of work in the community, we also care about the people that live in it. We support local organizations by contributing volunteer hours, funds and in-kind donations.

For more information abour Local 32’s community efforts, or to request support, please contact Tim Watkins at Project First Rate at 815-904-6833. 

News and Events

Our members and apprentices are diverse, experienced and dedicated.  We know the importance of sharing our expert insights and staying active in our community. Click through to read about Local 32 news, events and upcoming opportunities in which you may want to become involved.

October 17, 2014: Groundbreaking for New AAR Maintenance Hangar

October 20, 2014: NWIBT Shows Support for New Rockford Schools

November 19, 2014: Republicans: Keystone pipeline down, but not out